Rich Villodas offers a truly beautiful book on wholeness, health, and Kingdom-shaped ethics. His vision, based on Scripture and Langston Hughes' poetic line, is a needed word about what it means to live as disciples. I loved this book!
Much like 'The Deeply Formed Life,' Pastor Rich's latest work, 'Good and Beautiful and Kind,' immediately captures your attention with its insightful and down-to-earth wisdom that permeates every page. This book is a seamless continuation of the journey of becoming a disciple of Christ, offering a theologically robust perspective presented in a profound yet remarkably practical manner.
Within these pages, you'll discover a treasure trove of both descriptive and prescriptive truths. Rich explores the true nature of sin, which essentially boils down to a deficiency in love. He takes a biblical, non-sensational approach to spiritual warfare, and delves into the profound impact of trauma wounds. The book also provides valuable insights on prayer, fostering healthy relationships with both oneself and others, and offers a unique and balanced perspective on justice.
One particular chapter, titled 'The Gift of Forgiveness,' stands out as a refreshing and powerful exploration, even for seasoned disciples like myself. With its subtitle, 'Becoming Whole in a Fractured World,' this new book promises to deliver on its commitment, and I assure you it won't disappoint—unless, of course, you find yourself longing for more as you reach the end.
Rich Villodas is an excellent and inspiring communicator. I have always appreciated his style—a mix of down-to-earth, practical, pastoral perspective coupled with research and biblical study as its foundation. His is a needed and welcomed voice in our culture. Recommended!
Pastor Rich definitely offers some insights here that are sorely needed today. I know this work was inspired by a lot of the discord following the pandemic. It approaches how to live more kindly with others by teaching empathy. There’s so much assumption and reactivity and refusal to understand trauma. AKA spiritual gaslighting. And Villodas sheds light on that problem. Specifically what the problem is, how to overcome it, and how to heal together. All helpful insights, and hopefully at least a starting point for people who probably actually need to go to therapy. Lol. I found his personal insights to be helpful. I give it four stars simply because it’s a bit of a slow read and his writing voice is not the most engaging. But to be fair, I have the same issue with most spiritual growth books.
What an encouraging read. Rich Villodas has such a needed and timely voice for the church. Highly recommend!
Rich writes with the heart of a pastor. Rich challenges readers while being empathetic, kind, and wholehearted. I appreciated this book and the insight it gave. The concept of wholeness, plus the title sparked my interest. I think I had a lot of expectations, since his first book was so wonderful. This was equally as inspiring, challenging, and thought-provoking. I highlighted so much of it! I appreciated the inclusion of the topic of justice and equity - something we often skip over in white evangelical spaces. Grateful for Rich's heart and writing.
I had read another one of Rich's books after hearing about it from my pastor. Since I enjoyed it, I decided to check this one out. I took notes throughout, finding it challenging and hopeful.
After enjoying his first book, A Deeply Formed Life, I was thrilled to get a copy of Good and Beautiful and Kind. I believe his sophomore book is even stronger than the first. Villodas has a way of understanding the things that are lacking in life and relationships and wisely offers his wisdom on how Jesus can still be the best solution we have, His thoughts on forgiveness were so helpful. He is relevant, caring, and insightful as he reminds us to go back to practices passed through generations of Christians, This book should be an encouragement to Christians young and old,
The quote by Langston Hughes in the epigraph gives the reason people should read this book:
"I am so tired of waiting,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?
Villodas has written a hopeful book for those of us waiting. He identifies what fractures our world and suggests ways to walk "a better way" and to embody wholeness. I finished the book and wanted to turn around and start rereading it. There is too much to grasp in one reading. A book that is both soothing and challenging.
A great book for considering the things that are holding us back from being fully human; good and beautiful and kind. Villodas gives good practical examples. I've read both books of his and always appreciate what he has to offer.
I was so excited to read this one - I love following Rich on social media, and really enjoyed The Deeply Formed Life. Good and Beautiful and Kind provides a breath of fresh air in the evangelical space that is currently wrought with brokenness and darkness. Calling this book one that has "fresh energy, classic truth, and practical solutions" is the perfect description and I think it would be perfect for any weary, disillusioned christian that needs a breath of fresh air. Thank you, Netgalley for the ARC!
Broken into three parts -- the forces behind the fractures, walking a better way, embodying wholeness -- Good and Beautiful and Kind seeks to highlight how these three things are disappearing around us while highlighting how we can get them back.
Over and over, I struggled to understand how the various chapters connect with one another. Of the 9 chapters, I'd say the ninth is the strongest writing and call to action. If you get lost halfway through, perhaps skip the the ninth and circle back around.
Well done! I'm working on a more in depth review, to follow soon.
Rich Villodas knows how to get the heart of current issues and give guidance for ways ahead, including tapping into his own wealth of personal experience, as well as clearly a well-read library. I look forward to reading some of his references as well
I absolutely adored this book, and it was the perfect read over vacation. Rich Villodas is prophetic, profound and easy to read. His call to center ourselves on things that are good, beautiful and kind is deeply needed - and the way he paves the way is attainable for every believer. Highly recommend.
Rich Villodas is a man who speaks with both truth and love. He masterfully navigates challenging and potentially polarizing topics and embraces the nuance required to do so. It's also evident that he deeply believes and has applied many of the principles he writes and speaks about to his own life and that his ministry is an outpouring of a private life rooted in pursuit of God.
This book is both timeless and perfectly suited for our 2022 world. It is both theologically rich and yet profoundly practical to everyday life. I had to stop highlighting because I found myself doing so for pages at a time!
It took me a while to work through it merely because there is so much to digest. Honestly, it's one of those books that you could read every year and still walk away with new takeaways each time which, for a book about spiritual formation, is a huge commendation.
I would recommend this book to any faith-based person and am looking forward to what Rich will write next!
Written from a Christian perspective Rich Villodas takes a seemingly overwhelming task-loving God and loving others- and breaks down the barriers to and practical steps to having a good and beautiful and kind life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. He doesn't make light of serious issues many face in life- systemic oppression, poverty, broken relationships, etc. Dividing the book into three parts was particularly helpful for me, as was citing a variety of authors from various professions. He includes psychological principles and spirituality, acknowledging that we can receive guidance and wisdom from both.
Having read Rich Villodas’ first book The Deeply Formed Life, I look forward to his second book and it does not disappoint, as it tackle what it means to be good, beautiful, and kind in areas of anxiety, trauma, justice, identity, forgiveness prevalent during the pandemic and shifts in Christian culture, and how to bring this renewed witness in our every day life. The church must reckon with these areas in order not just to be relevant, but be the embodiment of good News and good works of Jesus Christ in a fractured world.
While this book didn't bring up anything that felt too new to me, it was still a good book. I think we need to hear truth over and over again, and this book certainly did that for me. This is a refreshing reminder on reconciliation, justice and what life with the Lord looks like in practical ways. I loved feeling Rich's pastoral heart through every page.
This book was what I needed. I had been feeling spiritually disconnected and the heartfelt writing served as a reminder that I am more than my struggles and I was designed for God's love. I recommend this book to anyone needing a reminder of how very loved they are by God.
Absolutely classic and stunning writing. In this wonderful book, by Rich Villodas, before the main themes are being examined he argues that living the way of Christ's love which is good, beautiful, and kind life does not happen overnight. The fruit of holy spirit is love- it grows slowly. There is no shortcut to love. The author has associated sin with love. He deeply takes us to the forces behind the fractures - which is failure to love is equal to sin. Then what is sin? Sin is described as images of lawbreaking, trespassing, and debt. In this book, Rich reminds us the greatest commandment of Jesus- when asked with absolute clarity Jesus responds: Love is the greatest command. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Then he added, “The second important commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mathew 22:37-40)
To paraphrase the old Westminster Catechism, the chief end of humanity is "to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." The fulfillment of faith is love; sin is the negation of it. Rich, the author has explained clearly and deeply the historical and modern fractures in our world. To understand what breaks our society and sabotages the forces of our lives we need to have an understanding of both love and sin. The book is divided into three parts: In the first part, the author will "cut the world in two," exploring the ways that love, goodness, beauty and kindness get eaten from our lives and our world. The themes of sin, powers and principalities, and trauma are navigated.
In the second part, Rich focuses on how the good, beautiful, and kind life gets formed in us through contemplative prayer, humility, and the cultivation of calm presence. The final part will examine the ways all this gets embodied through healthy conflict, forgiveness, and justice.
The author points out practically and truthfully that the self giving love that stretches out to us is discovered in the cruciform love of God, in Jesus. Abide in a love that is self- giving and abundant. His is the love that forms us to become the embodiment of wholeness for a world tragically fractured and breaking apart every day.
Thanks to Publisher WaterBrook, NetGalley and Author Rich Villodas for this advance copy in exchange of my honest review